By ADAM SERRANO
CARSON, Calif. –Pat Noonan scored in stoppage time to help the Los Angeles Galaxy steal a late point from FC Dallas in a 1-1 draw at Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
Shea converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute after Galaxy back-up goalkeeper Bill Guadette brought down forward Blas Perez in the box a the Panamanian drove towards goal after a defensive miscue by the Galaxy's David Junior Lopes. Guadette was making his MLS start since September 30th, 2006 in place of starter Josh Saunders, who missed the match to attend to personal matters.
Dallas seemed destined for three points before second half substitute Pat Noonan equalized in the 92nd minute of play after the three Galaxy substitutes combined, first Adam Cristman won the ball before Chad Barrett fed the forward for the goal.
“Create some energy, get into some good spots and try to get on the end of some crosses,” Noonan told reporters of substitutes orders from the Galaxy coaching staff. “That’s kind of what it is – you’re throwing guys forward and they have guys they have to bring back so it’s kind of launching balls forward and getting balls in the box and fortunately we got one.”
The first half was a back-and-forth affair in which each team traded chances, Dallas' nearly striking with a pair of chances from Shea and Fabian Castillo in the first minute of play while Landon Donovan struck the post ten minutes later.
The Galaxy earned a penalty kick in the 48th minute when defender Jair Benitez brought down Donovan in the box. The Galaxy captain did not take the chance, however as Robbie Keane drilled his chance just wide of Chris Seitz' goal. Keane's missed PK was the first time that a player other than Landon Donovan had taken a penalty since Kyle Martino missed a penalty against the Columbus Crew on June 23rd, 2007. Following the match, Donovan admitted that there were no regrets on the penalty and that he offered Keane the kick in an attempt to get the struggling forward on the scoresheet.
"There was no conversation, I told Robbie that I wanted him to take it, he did everything right, except he just mishit it a little bit," said Donovan. " [I let him take it] to get him going, it's been awhile since those guys have hit the net and we're trying to get them more chances. We're not doing a good enough job of getting them chances in front of goal so I thought it would help a little bit."
After Donovan's miss, Dallas wrestled control of the match from the Galaxy forcing Guadette to make a key save in the 50th minute off a chance by Blas Perez. 11 minutes later, Perez was the focal point capitalizing on Lopes' miscue to help earn a penalty that Shea would bury.
Following the Shea's goal, the Galaxy threw numbers forward in search of an equalizer, but poor finishing kept the Galaxy off the board until Noonan's late heroics. Although FCD saw two points taken from them at the death, the club was encouraged with their performance in their third match in a week.
"We were consistent throughout the game, we had good pressure and we defended well," said midfielder Andrew Jacobson. "After we scored, we didn't just sit back, we kept looking for the second. It's not something that is easy to do in LA especially against the defending champions."
FC Dallas will look to stretch their unbeaten streak to three games next Saturday against the Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Stadium. Meanwhile, the Galaxy will face a short week as they travel to take on the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday before hosting the New York Red Bulls on the weekend.